In 2016, Anderson Elementary School in Bristol, Tenn., started a journey from a traditional school and library to a place of wonder and innovation, inspired by the idea of creating makerspaces.
That idea required changing an existing system. It also pushed me, as principal, to think through some questions: Where will we place a makerspace? How will we train the teachers to use the new technology? How will we find that space to create innovation? What concerns will students or parents have about this transformation? How will we fund this initiative?
Two years later, our school library includes a makerspace, and multiple classrooms are using technology to inspire and engage students. That engagement is crucial to boosting student achievement and improving teacher morale — two key goals behind the transformation effort.
The transformation began with a new vision statement that serves…